A Beverage Specialist & Writer, Former Group Beverage Manager at Maximal Concepts (company behind some of Hong Kong’s most loved & iconic restaurants such as Brickhouse, Limewood, Mott32 etc.), Co-Founder of The Bar Awards (that celebrates the best of Singapore, Hong Kong’s bars and bar professionals since 2014, and this year, reaches further to honour the work of the bar communities in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Macau and Penang) and a Deputy General Manager at Proof & Co. (Asia’s first integrated luxury spirits company, merging a curated portfolio of sought-after independent brands) – Introducing Sandeep Hathiramani – One Man with So Many Feathers in his hat! Impeccable at what he does, his life story is a perfect case study to witness how you can be versatile in a niche & specialised field you have chosen to be.
We caught up with Sandeep to know more about his versatile journey and his offbeat career choice!
In a world of conventional job scenario, please tell us how did you enter into this unconventional yet exciting profile?
Faith plays a funny hand in my story. I had done a year of hospitality management when I was 18 and I didn’t like it. Working in hospitality is tough. You have to give up weekends and holidays away from family and your loved ones. I also played Cricket then, so I really wanted my weekends to be free. When I moved from Australia to Hong Kong, I chose to specialize in Public Relations and Political Science. I landed a job offer to do PR and Events for PLAY Club, which was just too good an opportunity to ignore – a job that allowed me to drink the best champagnes, work with the top DJ’s in the world and pay me!
Fast forward 6 years later, I’ve assisted to launch 10 places across HK, Macau, Canada and next month in Mumbai. Along the way, I have been lucky to be nominated and win a few industry awards – Best Bar in Hong Kong, Asia’s 50 Best Bars, World’s 100 Best Bars and Best Cocktail menu.
What were your obstacles working in the industry?
The biggest challenge in food and beverage industry is perception VS reality. People think we work with bars so we party all day and drink all day. That’s 10% of our life which is less than a 9-6 working person. Sure, we drink some interesting whiskeys but we also sit and taste coffee, juice, fruits and lots more. If no good story starts with eating a salad holds true, we just don’t share that part of our job to people too. In reality, I start at 10 am every day in the office and generally, don’t have a finish time.
Your company name – Proof & Co. is quite intriguing – what was the thought behind its incorporation?
Proof & Company can be described in many ways. To sum up Proof & Co., every good bar needs the best spirits and tools to run its venue. We are the A-Z portfolio for bars and bartenders, suppling craft spirits. These are some brands which you may usually not find it under big names but are great products with heritage. We also do consultation projects. Some of our clients are – The Pontiac, Fang Fang, Gough & Gough in Hong Kong, 28 HongKong, Atlas in Singapore.
Can you share a recipe of Indian themed cocktail? Using Indian spices?
I’d like to share a cocktail from the new project and am working on to be launched in Mumbai this August (Miss T). The drink is inspired by the Golden Triangle of Asia and Indian influence. Most people think India and think spice – so they factor their food and drink around it. I want to showcase the other side of it using fresh seasonal fruits and rice.
The Recipe is: Vodka | Basmati | Pineapple | Pandan | Sake | Lemon
The flavours might sound weird to you once you read it but I guarantee you will want to order a second one 🙂